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Italian Virologist: Fear of Being Falsely Called Racist Led to Italy’s Wuhan Coronavirus Crisis

Italian Virologist: Fear of Being Falsely Called Racist Led to Italy’s Wuhan Coronavirus Crisis

“There was a proposal to isolate people coming from the epicenter, coming from China,” Dr. Giorgio Palù told CNN. “Then it became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak.”

As I write this, Italy has 47,021 active cases of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

5,129 have recovered. 4,032 have died. That’s 800 more than China (assuming their numbers are correct), and the number is certain to grow.

The situation has become so dire that there are reports healthcare workers in Lombardy, one of the hardest hit areas, have simply stopped counting the bodies.

There were 627 recorded deaths Friday, their biggest day-to-day rise since the outbreak started.

These are very sobering statistics, especially when you consider a little over a month ago, videos were being circulated on social media of Italians going about their daily lives, of the tourist circuit bustling, of markets being full of shoppers, and the like.

This was all happening even as the Wuhan Coronavirus was known to be spreading, because Italy had not yet called for social distancing or any other type of related measures at the time that might have helped stopped the spread.

Those on the outside looking in and who had read reports about the outbreak watched in disbelief as local officials like Florence Mayor Dario Nardella were telling Italians to “hug a Chinese.” It was a patronizing virtue signal to show Italy’s Asian population support, and to prove to the world that Italy wasn’t “racist” after reports of alleged “xenophobic incidents” against Chinese people in Italy as a result of their China travel ban:

It caught on:

Even after the lockdowns began in late February, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was still telling people that Italy was “a safe place for nationals and tourists alike.”

Beyond Nardella, Italian officials were condemning efforts at the local level, like the one below, to prevent the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus from people coming in from China:

Virologist Roberto Burioni was labeled a “far-right fascist” for saying in January that anyone returning to Italy from China should be quarantined, according to Politico (sounds familiar).

And though flights to and from China had been suspended, flights from most other countries into Italy were not, meaning alternative routes from China could be used to indirectly fly into Italy.

Not surprisingly, Italy’s half measures and refusal to call on people to practice social distancing caused the country’s cases of the Wuhan Caronavirus to start skyrocketing around the same time the lockdowns were put into place (scroll here for details).

The point here isn’t to pile on Italy; we all know they’re literally in the fight of their lives there right now.

Rather, there are lessons to be learned by other countries in this, as an Italian virologist with knowledge of the critical situation in Italy explained in a recent interview:

Dr. Giorgio Palù, the former president of the European and Italian Society for Virology and a professor of virology and microbiology of the University of Padova, told CNN he’d hoped to see the first signs of a change after just over a week of nationwide lockdown, but that has yet to materialize. “Yesterday we expected to have a change after almost 10 days of this new measure … but it’s still rising,” he told CNN. “So I don’t think we can make a prediction today.”


The lockdown should have been wider and stricter earlier, Palù believes, rather than just focusing on the 11 communities initially placed in the red zone, and it should be tighter now. “We should have done more diagnostic tests in Lombardy where there was a big nucleus. There is no sense in trying to go to the supermarket once a week. You have to limit your time out, isolation is the key thing.”

He says the Italian government lagged at first. It was “lazy in the beginning… too much politics in Italy.”

“There was a proposal to isolate people coming from the epicenter, coming from China,” he said. “Then it became seen as racist, but they were people coming from the outbreak.” That, he said, led to the current devastating situation.

The moral of the story? Political correctness, insecure borders, and the desire to be seen as inclusive and welcoming to people from all over the world while in the midst of an emerging pandemic has had heartbreakingly devastating consequences for Italy.

For the record, Dario Nardella is now urging isolation:

[Featured Image: YouTube]

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Political correctness is the left’s most potent (and deadliest) weapon. We have been conditioned to believe that being called racist or a bigot is worse than being called a thief, rapist or murderer.

    drednicolson in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    That being a thought criminal is worse than being an actual one.

    Which isn’t far off the mark as far as leftilibral elites are concerned. They secretly don’t mind crooks. Crooks can be bought. The principled, law-abiding, informed citizen who won’t buy their snake oil is who they fear and loathe.

      Wisewerds in reply to drednicolson. | March 21, 2020 at 4:15 pm

      “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

      Ayn Rand–Atlas Shrugged–1957

    n.n in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Progressive (i.e. monotonic) corruption, confusion, contortion, congruence, conflict, conflation, etc. A social contagion spread through liberal license and a first-order forcing of [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate change.

mickshrimpton | March 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm

I wonder if Dario Nardella is quarantining with his new Chinese BFF.

Diversity (i.e. color judgments), including racism, breeds adversity and disease.

Apparently, every leftist principle hurts people. Who knew? Honesty and reality keep getting vindicated, even when not applied.

The “Green New Deal” makes me think of Soylent Green.

    They bitterly cling to their Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent, irreconcilable religion and deferment to mortal gods and goddesses.

    Green as in ecological blight. And green as in naive. And green as in laundered, sociopolitically inoculated, renewable “green”-backs.

    Soylent Green as in reduce, reuse, recycle… planned parenthood, planned parent, and other wicked solutions to mitigate progress of social “burdens”.

The Chinese virus is just speeding up the societal suicide of Italians and making room for people, like Chinese and Africans, who are willing to reproduce.

There are numerous stories on the internet about how the Chinese now control Northern Italy. Several hundred thousand Chinese live (legally and illegally) in Northern Italy. They have taken control of the Italian textile and fashion industries. The Chinese have pumped billions into the Northern Italian economy and control puppet leaders like Dario Nardella.

Italy and Iran were two of the first countries to join China’s BRI initiative and now they are paying the price.

Of course, anyone who depends on CNN and the “Alphabet Networks” is totally unaware of this.

    Paul in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    You can say a lot of things about the Chicomms, but you can’t call them stupid.

    They chose some of the most beautiful countryside in the world for their beachhead in Europe.

    And also some of the most easily defensible from a military perspective.

    walls in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    This is all true. Milan [northern Italy] is the leading Italian city for textile fashion and manufacturing. Similarly, Wuhan is a major Chinese city for textile manufacturing. The cities are connected by direct air flight. The Italians brought in the Chinese years ago for cheap textile labor.

    This “hug a Chinese” promo is complete lunacy. Why not hug a ticking time bomb?

      Tiki in reply to walls. | March 21, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Wuchow and Wuhan workers are tied to northern Italy and after new year celebrations where aided by the CCP on how to return to Italy via secondary destinations to avoid flight restrictions.

      That bit came from a Chinese journalist critical of the CCP.

That’s horse shit. Once the virus gets passed on to even 1-2 people (SEATTLE), the Chinese element meant nothing. You can’t stop patient zero and that’s all this virus required.

    bw222 in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    So than why are cases of Conronavirus so prevalent in Northern Italy and Iran and why are the death tolls so high there? Please explain how that’s horse shit.

      bw222 in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      Conronavirus = Coronavirus

      Some of it is isolating early cases (which Italy and Iran did not do well) and a lot of it is the effect common social distancing has on the infection multiplier rate (i.e. 1 infects 2 who infect 4, etc…)

      The US has had about a 1.4 multiplier if I remember right (1 infects 1.4 others etc…) since we are by nature a distant don’t-touch-me-bro nation. We don’t kiss each other on the cheeks when greeting, we don’t pack shoulder to shoulder into mosques several times daily for prayer, which may bring that multiplier up into double-digits.

      Hm… I wonder what the infection rate is among females in the Muslim world where burkas are required wear…

        bw222 in reply to georgfelis. | March 21, 2020 at 3:11 pm

        With direct flights between Wuhan and Milan, there were dozens (hundreds?) in Patient Zeros.”

          Andy in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 3:18 pm

          So? You needed 1 for this to happen.

          bw222 in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 3:42 pm

          Andy – There have been 83 deaths in Washington compared with over 4,800 in Italy – mostly in Northern Italy. We likely will find a cure for Coronavirus, but we will never discover a cure for stupid.

          Milhouse in reply to bw222. | March 22, 2020 at 2:04 am

          No. The catastrophe in Italy didn’t come from one infection from China, and it wouldn’t have happened had there been only one infection from China. It happened because there were hundreds of them, each one going on to spread it to their circle. Thus it could have been prevented had they stopped non-resident Chinese coming to Italy earlier, and quarantined those citizens and residents who had been there, and not encouraged people to get close to them.

        Millhouse- use those to holes in the front of your head. I didn’t say it was one. I said it REQUIRED one. This isn’t the clap- one can infect a hundred in an hour.

        That’s why it’s called a pandemic.

        Blaming PC is as stupid as the left blaming Trump. You’d like it to be true as much as they do. That doesn’t make it so.

          CincyJan in reply to Andy. | March 24, 2020 at 8:18 pm

          That is a video of the Mayor of Floirwence asking Italians to hug a Chinese. That was a PC reaction. Duh!

      Andy in reply to bw222. | March 21, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      It’s a virus- it spreads where people are close together. It kills where you have old people and people with respiratory problems. Europeans smoke like Chimneys– their oldsters are basically coal miners. Some did not get ahead of the curve. In South Korea, the virus has been half as deadly among females (where female smoking rate 5% vs males at >50%.)

      Politicking about it right now is pretty stupid. Systems which are SUPPOSED to be resilient to pandemics have been tested and many failed. I’m a glass half full guy. This virus is junior varsity IMO, I’m glad we got this wake up call, because in all honesty, we’d be screwed if a real ass-kicker were on the loose right now. The panic is worse than the pandemic.

      As others are suggesting, the back end of this involves taking the vulnerable and putting them in bubble wrap as the economy cannot sustain a 6 month shut down AND that sort of shut down is not necessary.

    Barry in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    “the Chinese element meant nothing”

    Horseshit. The Chinese are responsible for all of this. The Chinese virus started in China, the communist regime new it and allowed infected Chinese to travel all over the world, spreading the virus everywhere.

    It’s criminal conduct. Exactly what one should expect from a criminal regime.

    alaskabob in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Yes, yes… it is all in the past and the battle is now engaged. Important to “forgive and forget” even though the ideology and the CCP will continue to operate in the same fashion. I guess the Russians should have let Chernobyl destroy Europe because once the disaster happened… it is in “the past”. Once this “event” plays out, the reason for the global quality of the deceit will have to be addressed whether you like it or not. It’s about “cover-up”… about delay and about increased deaths allowed to shield the communist way from legitimate criticism.

There are a lot of people who get off on telling whitey what to do and watching him jump to it

    Andy in reply to hopeful. | March 21, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    yeah and a lot of whiteys hyperventilate because some idiot with thick rimmed glasses says something on MSNBC.

    1. Trump hasn’t bumbled the response in any way that could have been averted.
    2. Political correctness hasn’t made it worse.

    Assertions of both sure get a lot of clickety clicks from people who drink that internet kool-aid for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      bw222 in reply to Andy. | March 21, 2020 at 3:47 pm

      Andy – we’ll likely find a cure for Coronavirus, but, unfortunately for you, we’ll never discover a cure for stupid.

    Hey, Whitey: stop voting for people who want to destroy you.

    Did anyone get off on that?

The post here is one of the most important I have read anywhere.

WORSE! – Fear of being called a racists led 8 years of complete hell, known as the obama presidency.

Even worse: what that moron did to the CDC during the 8 horrid years of his soros-proxy presidency is DIRECTLY the cause of the chaos and fascistic threat we are now facing as a result of that organ-grinder monkey holding the highest office in our land.

Among his other horrid legacies: How’s transvestite twerking-shows for little kids sitting with everyone now?

It’s a numbers game…. when one can “sacrifice” a few hundred million people and topple the world, the ChiComs are showing how it is done. In the late 1970’s “gay power” was on the rise, but lurking below the surface was HIV. China’s “investment” comes at a high price of giving up checks and balances for a “quick” buck. China must be reframed in light of its subversion of the dangers of disease.

A similar tactic allowed Chairman O to push his “basic transformation” of the United States. Each time he was criticized, it was RACIST!

Typical MSM propaganda – no mention of Northern Italy’s large Chinese population or direct flights from Milan to Wuhan.

mister naturel | March 22, 2020 at 2:46 am

stupidity kills

A clear demonstration of how leftism is hostile to human survival.

And although many would argue that the disabled should be fully accommodated to the extent that’s feasible, the attitude of disability-rights warriors has always been more of an in-your-face “if everyone can’t have it then no one can have it” truculence.

And mostly we’ve accommodated even the most truculent of these activists. Becauswe we’re rich and we can afford to.

Yet in a crisis, sometimes it becomes necessary to triage. Because sometimes it is better that some have access to some critical resource than to deny that resource to all. Which everyone has always sorta known, but, in ordinary times it’s mostly been easier to just comply with even extreme and unreasonable demands.

Until a time comes when it isn’t.

Many Italians embraced communism, this is just the current disease inflicted on the people. All Chinese are not communists and all communists are not Chinese. Communism and terrorism are both serious malignancies.

Urging “isolation” after this display of virtue-signaling stupidity in the face of a serious pandemic is truly akin to locking the barn doors after the horses have left.

And, now, a question for our worthless Dhimmi-crats, state-side — how do you defend your hitherto, already-indefensible, public safety-undermining and lawless open borders policies, “sanctuary” cities and lax immigration enforcement, now?
Let’s hear your rationales, Dhimmi-crat idiots.

Just an observation. I have not seen any story on any forum or site of the effects of the virus in the many refugee camps world wide. Not a peep, any one? I doubt there is a huge tragedy playing out or the media would be all over it.

    Neo in reply to mrtea. | March 23, 2020 at 11:16 am

    There was a story worrying about the camps in Syria.

    Then there was a story of the first reported case of COVID-19 in Syria.

    What is interesting is that you can almost track where the Chinese weapons come in.

IMHO Italian men are wildly irresponsible and would ignore what the government tells them